After breaking through the 1 million annual sales barrier last year, the midsized SUV segment in Europe remains very dynamic, as I predicted. Sales are up another 15% in the first quarter, and that’s before a highly anticipated newcomer enters the segment in the second quarter: the Renault Kadjar is expected to enter the segment top-3 when it hits full steam in the market.
For now, the model on which that newcomer is based, the Nissan Qashqai, defends its kingdom as strong as ever thanks to the new generation, and despite losing the 7-seater “+2” version. With sales up 21%, the Qashqai now holds a 20,5% share of the segment, which means one in every five midsized crossovers comes from the Sunderland factory in the UK.
The Volkswagen Tiguan hold on to its second place, but is showing signs of its age, with sales dropping 7%. It still has a comfortable gap with the two South-Korean offerings behind it. Both are up an equal 19% despite the Kia Sportage having just been facelifted last year while the Hyundai ix35 is in run-out mode, due to be replaced by the Tucson any moment now.
In fifth place the Ford Kuga is the fastest growing model in the top-5, with sales up 31% on last year, but not enough to become a threat to third or even fourth place. The Kuga does create a bit more breathing room behind, with the Toyota RAV4 up 20% and the Skoda Yeti up 15% both leapfrogging the Mazda CX-5 which appears to have peaked, being one of only five models in the top-15 to lose sales on last year. The Honda CR-V, expecting a facelift soon, behind the CX-5 is another one of that unfortunate group.
Mitsubishi is on a roll in Europe, especially on its crossovers with the aging ASX up 38% in 10th place and the Outlander more than doubling its sales of the first quarter of last year not far behind in #11. The Nissan X-Trail moves into 12th place thanks to its new generation which replaces not only the slow selling outgoing version with its boxy design, but also the aforementioned 7-seater Qashqai +2.
After finishing 2014 in 18th place, the controversially styled Jeep Cherokee moves into 14th place this year, outselling the Subaru Forester, which is down 8% on last year. It looks like 14th is also the ceiling for the model in Europe, as the Suzuki S-Cross in #13 is selling at more than twice the current sales pace of its American competitor.
Midsized SUV segment
Citroën C4 Aircross
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2013 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.
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